Law Students Plan Poll of Firms
A large group of Harvard law students, concerned about the political and moral stances of law firms they might join, are backing a questionnaire to be sent to 600 firms which recruit at Harvard.
Three Law School students who investigated a prominent Washington law firm last summer under the direction of Ralph Nader prepared the questionnaire, and 316 other students and 11 school organizations have endorsed the inquiry.
The questionnaire asks how many blacks, women, and Puerto Ricans each firm employs. It also asks for an indication of the firm's willingness to contribute to public and consumer law work, to participate in bar associations, and to give financial aid to law schools, and for a listing of the firm's major clients.
The poll grew out of an investigation of the largest Washington law firm, Covington and Burling, by third-year students Mark Green and Michael Haroz and second-year student Andra Hotchkiss.
"The questions are good because they focus what students think," Miss- Hotchkiss said. "They give students more of a ground for questioning when they go for interviews."
Replies to the poll will be filed at the Law School placement office for the information of students. Copies of the questionnaire have been sent to law students at Yale, Chicago, Michigan, and other universities: students at some of these schools are planning similar polls.
Among the Law School organizations endorsing the poll are the Legal Aid Bureau, the Community Legal Assistance Office, the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, the Law School Record, and the Student Bar Association.
"I doubt if we'll get a really big response," Miss Hotchkiss said. "Some firms have this upper-class veneer, tastefully reserved, and you know they do lots of important business work. But you don't know quite what."
Only about one-fifth of the School's students signed the petition accompanying the poll. "I thought that was pretty good considering the Law School," Haroz said. "It has a bunch of nit-picking guys."